Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pork Tasting...

Yes. You read that right. Last night I went to my very first Pork Tasting event.

I know what you are thinking! Most people opt to attend a wine tasting event. That sounds so much classier than a pork tasting doesn't it?

Again. I live in the south.

But, here's the scoop on the pork tasting. It was fabulous.


Mmmm... pork.

The owners of the Red Hill Farm out of Lafayette brought many delicious versions of pork to be sampled. Everything from mild and hot sausage to ham steaks and baby back ribs.

The hostess had tables out on her closed in back porch, so we were able to enjoy each other's company and listen to the rain go pitter-pat on the roof. It made for a wonderful evening of fellowship and... well... pork.

The eldest patriarch manned the grill... out in the rain, mind you... and served up some very nice samples. Have you ever had a pork burger? No? If you do... you may not go back to beef.

Being the carnivore I am, this was an enjoyable evening. AND... when I left, I was given my very own pound of mild sausage. Everyone got to take some home, whether you placed an order or not.

How awesome was that?!

This was the second pork tasting in the area and there are more to come. If you are interested in hosting one... let me know and I will see if we can't hook you up with the folks who put this together. Then all the people who were at this last pork tasting will show up for more great food and fellowship.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hello Dalai?

I have lived my life in the south. I have grimaced at the people who surround me when they say less-than-intelligent things. I myself, have said less-than-intelligent things. It always amazes me that in a time of crisis a news station truck will locate the most unappealing southern person to put on the air and give an explanation of a news event. That person may be wearing a stained tank top and missing a tooth or two.

But now… we’ve brought the Dalai Lama to the south. Memphis to be exact. What did the mayor of Memphis do to welcome him?

Fist bump.

Who knew that when Mr. and Mrs. Obama greeted each other this way that the ramifications would be so far-reaching?

The only thing that could top the fist bump is if you greet him in some less-than-noble way. But, this is a mayor… he won’t succumb to that pressure, right? What did he say to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader?

“Hello Dalai”.


Thanks Mayor Lowery.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Terrapins... the other white meat

... and then, there is my friend Requelle. She has berated me on my previous post. She apparently lives with the horrible idea that I should beware of turtles.


Of Turtles.

She says this because she hails from Maryland. The University of Maryland has a mascot that is... wait for it.

A turtle.


Because NOTHING puts fear into the hearts of man like that of the fighting Turtle.

I think I'll name him Myrtle.

It fits.

Turtles and Dancing Men!

There are any numbers of reasons for traffic problems in the middle Tennessee area. Car accidents. Stalled cars. Police cruisers waiting patiently for that speeding bullet that just passed you. Construction. Country Music stars. The President of the United States dropping by on his way to the White House. Rain. Snow. The threat of snow. The very idea that some precipitation other than sunshine will fall to the earth. Any number of reasons. Let’s add one more…


That’s right. I said it. Turtles. Those happy little cartoon characters that slowly move across the roadways of life. The Victor over the mad cap rabbit! The aged character that led the young man to Mr. Owl to determine how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!

You with me now?

You can now add to the long list of turtle accomplishments… stopping traffic.

The nature-loving idiot I came upon had blocked traffic on a two lane road in order to allow the turtle to get from one side to the other. Yes. Blocked traffic. Both ways. The stopped cars sat idle whilst their drivers (I am one of those) stared in amazement at the spectacle.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking what a great guy he is. What a nature lover. What an earthy fellow. Don’t be fooled. This man could EASILY pick up said turtle and place him in the tall grassy field. It’s not like he couldn’t catch him. It’s not like he was greased up from some sort of pig wrastlin’ competition.

But no. Instead, our turtle’s hero gently nudged him along. He was probably worried about affecting the turtle’s Zen or something.

I wanted to go out and shoot something. But I held off.

The next sight I saw warmed my now cold and frosty heart. I was sitting at a red light this morning when a movement from the corner of my eye caught my attention. In the BMW to my left was an adult man, in his early 40s with a little boy in a car seat. The two of these men were just singing away with each other. I don’t know what the song was… but there were hand motions and Father and Son were having a great time! It was a wonderful moment to see.

It restored my faith that man was not a bumbling idiot bent upon causing traffic accidents to watch a turtle cross the road.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clowns in Space? Ew.

Here’s something you never really want to read in a newspaper article:

Space Tourist Plans to Tickle His Colleagues.

Yes, it is true. The newest celebrity/billionaire to make his trek into the Great Unknown is none other than Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte. I have to admit I am somewhat jealous. Who wouldn’t want to jaunt off on a mission to the space station? I would consider it. But I don’t have billions of dollars to throw away on a once-in-a-lifetime trek. I have to pay for college books and tuition for goodness sakes!

I have to admit I am just not a fan of Cirque. It is creative and imaginative. The costuming is spectacular. But there are only so many times I want to watch a petite flower bend herself into a pretzel. Once you have witnessed a behemoth balance five people on his head whilst riding a unicycle, you really don’t have to witness that again.

But now the leader is heading into space. And what does he plan to do there? Tickle the astronauts in their sleep.

He would do well to stay in space before “tickling” me in my sleep, lest I wake up swinging and fling the poor guy into an orbit all his own.

He’s going to pass out red clown noses too. Because the one thing the space station needs are clown noses floating about.

Makes you wonder if, once the space ship is docked to the station, Mr. Laliberte rings the doorbell and the cosmonauts treat him like a Jehovah’s Witness and just refuse to answer the door, hoping he will take his clown nose and tickling apparatuses and simply return to Mother Earth.

I just bet we will hear them laughing from here!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


It is always something, isn't it?

So a couple of weeks ago my maternal unit woke up WAY before her normal time and made her way to the kitchen and the brewed pot of coffee. Her morning ritual is to drink said coffee and take her blood pressure medication. This morning was no different.

After her morning meds, she ambled off to the computer to check her email, etc. After about 30 minutes, she realized she would rather be asleep, and being the retired person she is, headed back to bed and dreamed a little dream of me.

Okay, she probably didn't dream. But that was a pretty clever way to end the previous paragraph.

Fast forward an hour or so and you will find the maternal unit making herself a bowl of cereal for breakfast and, having no memory of the early waking experience, took herself another blood pressure pill.

She realized the mistake after she swallowed.


As I enter the house at the end of the work day, my paternal unit says the following words to me: Your Mother has had a bad day.

What does that mean? Does it mean she read a disturbing email. Did she shatter another bottle of fingernail polish on the bathroom floor? Did she slip and fall? All sorts of things run through the brain when trying to decipher my paternal unit's phrase. Unfortunately, I have to bite.

Me: What happened?

Dad: Your mother overdosed on blood pressure medicine.

Now, when one thinks of an overdose, one typically believes the person has determined to take vast quantities of a drug. My paternal unit goes on to explain what happened ending with this phrase:

So, we sat around all day and waited to see if your mother was going to die.


Me: Did you call her doctor?

PU: Yes. He said she would probably just have a headache or feel dizzy or maybe faint.

Me: So at no time did he mention the ability of the maternal unit to keel over and kick the proverbial bucket, right?

PU: Well.... no.

Okay. Listen up you senior adults out there... you can elongate the years of your offspring's life if you don't announce that you have spent the day staring at each other waiting for one of you to die.

Seriously. (This is my new favorite word)

I need some ice cream to make me feel better.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


There are not a lot of Broadway musicals that I have not seen. Wicked was one of them.

Was. Past tense.

Tonight I experienced Wicked. I did not simply view it or watch it or even go to it. I experienced it.

From the beginning of tonight's performance at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to the cast's final bow, I was enthralled with this production. Each element of the experience is one to be shared with your friends and family. Okay, fine. Share it with strangers! Just Go.

The vocal abilities of every single actor was strong. I cannot remember the last time I saw and heard a show where there wasn't at least one vocalist you could find fault with. That was not the case in tonight's performance. From Ga-linda (with a Guh) to Elphaba and even the smaller role of Nessa... the vocal strength and range was more than impressive. It was astounding. I found myself wondering how the cast would cope with middle Tennessee pollen, but there was seemingly no problem.

The costuming was timely and appropriate for the cast. The set moved smooth as silk. It was effortless.

I was a complete newcomer to Wicked. While I had read the book, I had not seen the musical nor did I know any of the music. I worried that it may become tedious. That was far from the case. The music was beautifully complex and well-written. The harmonies were perfection. The only possible negative aspect was a problem with mixing the vocals during some of the bigger, full cast numbers.

For all that... I am sold on Wicked. Find a way to see this show. Go now. Pay the money. You will be so glad you did!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Great Friends!!

I love having those people in my life that I can go without speaking to one-on-one for a year and then pick right back up and catch right back up with over great food in a great restaurant.

I did that tonight. I had dinner with my friend, Pam Case. (shown below)

I conned Pam into dinner in an effort to help me out with a paper I have to write in my Organizational Communication class. I have to interview two people in management and Pam was the first person I called.

Okay, I texted. The sad thing was that I had not talked with Pam in some time and so I texted to her old phone number. I have no idea who has that number now, but they didn't respond. Probably because they had no idea who I was. Then I tried to Twitter Pam. I did this because she is the Twitter Queen! But I didn't hear from her on that end. So, I finally emailed her through Facebook and she let me know that she had a new number and we worked out the details for dinner tonight.

We met at Amerigo in Nashville at 6:00. I love Amerigo. It is one of my favorite places to eat. Did my dinner meet with my diet restrictions? HECK NO!!! But, I did pass on the dessert, though it pained me to do so.

Pam and I had a great time catching back up with each other. Then I pulled out a tape recorder and interviewed her for my paper. That took about 30 minutes. Then I turned my tape recorder off and we talked some more.

We left the restaurant at a little after 10:00. Our waitress was tired of refiling out tea glasses, so she took off at about 9:30. It was also a little after Pam's husband texted her to make sure she was still alive and kickin'! Surely to goodness she hadn't been sitting in a restaurant for four hours.

Hey... at least we stopped eating by about 7:00! We did pretty good.

Good Friends + Good Food = Good Times!!!

And hopefully a Good Grade!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

A Day On the Farm

Last Wednesday evening the members of the digital photography class I am taking had a field trip. We went out to Lantern Lane Farm.

Lantern Lane is a great horse farm in Rutherford County (even though you think you are in Mt. Juliet... you aren't). I know the owners. I knew them before they purchased the farm. They are great people! Joni is a real estate agent and one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She loves people... but she loves the Lord more. The best thing about her is that she lets the Lord love people through her. She is an amazing woman. AMAZING. Makes me wonder why she hooked up with Ralph all those years ago.

Ralph. What can I say about Ralph? Probably not much that is printable. :)

Oh, I'm kidding. I love Ralph. He's a fun guy. He tells it like it is and doesn't really let you throw a pity party. I worked with him when I was on staff at Two Rivers. He was the children's choir director. Those kids just did not mess with Mr. Ralph. He wasn't a Nazi about it, but he was firm with them and they respected him for it.

I don't really respect him. Just ask him and he will tell you. Kinda hard to respect a man who cheats at cards.

Seriously. He cheats. He will tell you he cheats. Again... he tells it like it is.

At any rate, they have a great place and they have horses. I love horses. I love taking pictures and I was very excited that our first field trip was going to be at Lantern Lane.

By the way... if you want more info about Lantern Lane, check out the website here:

The website is going to be updated soon, but that will give you an idea of where we were. If you are interested in volunteering with the animals, you can contact the Cooks through that website. Or, if you need a weekend away or have family that is coming into town and need a place to stay, the cabin in the perfect place! (Yes, that was a shameless plug for Lantern Lane Farm)

These are some of the pictures I took whilst I was there:

This is a picture of Dolly. She is a beautiful walking horse that was in foal with Apostrophe when the Cooks bought her. She was very patient with me and let me get in pretty close in order to take this shot...

This is Scooter. He is a precious guy who was really, really good with all the children that accompanied their parents to the farm for the photo shoot. Every so often Scooter would get a little nervous. So, he and I bonded that evening. I hung around Scooter and let him know what a great horse he was. He enjoyed the attention and snuffled the hands and shoulders of the little children who thought he was just as great as he is!

I also took some odd pictures. Because I like to take odd pictures. I loved the texture of the wood on the barn.

And here is the barn itself. It is a lovely shot of a lovely barn on a lovely farm. A lovely barn on a lovely farm owned by lovely people. Well... at least Joni is!
Oh, okay Ralph. You are lovely too!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'...

I own a pair of lace-up ropers. Did you know that about me? It does not really fit my typical shoe mold. I purchased them for a specific reason and I made a friend of mine who had lots of years of horseback riding/working cattle help me pick them out.

See, I wanted to take horseback riding lessons. I have always loved horses. ALWAYS. I never owned one because when I was little we moved from base to base because my father was in the military. When we finally settled, we really did not have the means or the acreage to host a horse. But that did not mean I gave up my love of these magnificent animals.

Finally, I determined that I would take horseback riding lessons. My first instruction was to purchase a pair of boots that had a heel on them. I was pretty sure my four inch black knee boots were not going to work. So... I hit my very first country and western gear store to find a pair of cowboy boots.

I apparently do not have the ability to wear cowboy boots. I have pretty large feet for a girl and I just could not cram them into pull on cowboy boots. My friend then introduced me to ropers. These boots were great! I could cram my feet in them and then lace them right up as tight or loose as I wanted.

I survived all my horseback riding lessons. I survived a six hour bona fide trail ride (even thought my jeans did not) and when all was said and done... I retained my ropers.

I have not had a need of them over much these past few years. I will pull them out occasionally and wear them. I have friends with horses that I have been able to visit more lately. I have really enjoyed going out and petting the babies and spending time with my friends.

The other night, I was there with a group of people who I am taking a digital photography class with. I knew there would be much walking about. Therefore, I decided that it would be a good time to pull the ropers out of my closet and wear them for the day. I discovered something rather odd.

I walk differently when I am wearing ropers.

I am wondering if it is my inner cowgirl trying to come forth.

I would think this... except that I am not a cowgirl. Really. Not. One.

But I do walk differently. My stride is longer. It is almost a more confident stride. It borders upon a swagger.

I have never swaggered in my life. Unless you consider a few parties I attended, okay... hosted, in college.

No... that wasn't so much a swagger as stumbling.

So. I'm thinkin' I'll be wearing those ropers a little more often.

Maybe I'll catch me a cowboy! :)